SNC-Lavalin contracts to extend life of CANDU reactor at Romanian nuclear plant

L-3 Mapps to Upgrade Simulator at Romanian Nuclear Plant

Candu Energy will work on upgrades to extend the operating life of a 24-year-old Romanian nuclear power unit.

Candu, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, was awarded a $10.8 million contract by Societatea Nationala Nuclearelectrica S.A. (SNN) for engineering analysis and assessments on the Cernavoda Unit 1 CANDU nuclear reactor. The contract is focused on the fuel channel and feeders assemblies with the objective of extending the operating life of the plant by approximately 4 years, up to 245,000 effective full power hours (EFPH) from the original design life of 210,000 EFPH.

This extensions would enable the Cernavoda plant to operate safely until it is ready for refurbishment in 2026.

In October, SNN had also awarded SNC-Lavalin and its partner Ansaldo Nucleare the condition assessment work which will determine the scope of repair and replacement of other equipment as part of the Cernavoda Unit 1 refurbishment outage.

“SNC-Lavalin looks forward to continuing our long relationship with SNN to optimize the operation of Cernavoda Unit 1 in preparation for a refurbishment that will contribute to over 60 years of CANDU reactor life,” said Sandy Taylor, President, Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin. “Our dedicated project execution team has exceptional expertise in this area, having completed similar assessments for several CANDU clients around the world.”

Cernavoda Unit 1 produces over 700 MW of electricity, about 10 percent of Romania’s electricity demands. It was commissioned and began commercial full power operation in December 1996.

Nuclear power units do not emit carbon dioxide. Officials estimate that Cernavoda Unit 1 has avoided the release of more than four million metric tonnes of CO2 annually that would have been produced by a coal-fired plant, according to the release.

CANDU, known as Canada Deuterium Uranium, was invented in Canada. It uses deuterium oxide as a moderator and uranium as a fuel, according to the Canadian Nuclear Association.

The CANDU reactor also has been used at the Bruce, Darlington and Pickering power plants.

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The carbon free side of thermal power generation will be some of the key content offered at POWERGEN International 2020 happening December 8-10 in Orlando. The POWERGEN call for abstracts is now open and welcoming submissions through February 24.


  • Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering, POWERGEN International and the online POWERGEN+ series. He is a 13-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper journalist and trade publication editor. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and

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